Penarth Assembly Member Andrew R T Davies (Conservative South Wales Central) has ridiculed a statement made to the BBC by the First Minister of the Welsh Labour Government – Carwyn Jones – that Labour needs “another five years in power “.
Carwyn Jones claims that Wales is at “the half-way point on our journey” in what he called a “decade of delivery” – although political observers wasted no time in pointing out that Labour has actually been continually in power in the Welsh Assembly for 17 years – ever since it was first founded in 1999 .
Andrew R T Davies – who is the leader of the Conservatives in the Welsh Assembly said “Whilst Carwyn Jones talks of a decade of delivery, the people of Wales aren’t naïve; all Labour have delivered is disappointment. Under Labour, Wales endures the lowest take-home pay in the UK; spending on frontline health services has been cut by a billion pounds since 2011; and despite moderate improvements in GCSE results, they remain worse than those in England.”
In a speech at the Airbus factory in Hawarden Carwyn Jones had said “I make six new promises to you, the people of Wales”. These included :-
- “100,000 extra apprentices” [The BBC says over 5 years that’s about the same rate at which apprenticeships are currently created and does not represent a major increase].
- “A tax break to small businesses” [no details were given],
- A “new £100,000,000 fund for school standards” – [The OECD said school standards in Wales were worse than in the other UK and OECD countries and 30% of Welsh pupils were not achieving their potential ]
- A “new treatment fund” in the NHS [the current Welsh Labour Government has been criticised for not setting up a cancer drugs fund and for cutting expenditure on the NHS]
- “30 free hours of childcare for 3 and 4 year-olds” [ No details were given]
- And what was described as “an effective £26,000 tax-break” for pensioners in Wales [who will be allowed to retain no more than £50,000 of the amount raised when they have to sell their homes to pay for care-home costs. The rest will go to meet care costs.]
Carwyn Jones said these were the promises he wanted “the next Welsh Labour Government” to be judged on in 2021.
Welsh Tory leader Andrew R T Davies said these promises were “the same pledges that Labour bring forward at every election” and “you can’t really believe a word they say”. Under Labour rule – he said – Wales had suffered “17 years of stagnation”.